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Board approves proposed international program

July 13, 2005|by KAREN HANNA

karenh@herald-mail.com

Students interested in pursuing an International Baccalaureate Diploma can begin reading ahead.

The Washington County Board of Education voted 6-0 Tuesday night to approve the initial offerings of North Hagerstown High School's proposed program.

Class offerings would include English, Spanish, French, history, biology and theory of knowledge. Students could study an array of resources from "Dr. Zhivago" and "Billy Budd" to "Candide" and calculus texts.

Roger Giles, director of funded and special programs, said the system's proposal must be approved by International Baccalaureate Organisation before the advanced-level program can begin.

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Classes, which eventually would be offered to high school juniors and seniors from across the county, are set to start in the 2006-07 school year, Giles said.

Washington County Public Schools consultant Deanna Svrcek has worked as an International Baccalaureate teacher and coordinator in Montgomery County Public Schools. She told the board she believes the program's rigorous standards benefit all students.

The program requires participants to study subjects in a range of fields, including arts, individuals and society, foreign languages, English, experimental sciences and math, Svrcek said. Students take exams on the courses and spend both their junior and senior years researching and writing an extended essay.

They also participate in service learning, Svrcek said.

The organization, based in Geneva, Switzerland, will make its final decision next spring, Giles said. North High juniors could begin classes the following fall.

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